Disappointment likely for those who try to time the bottom of the market

Fernando Rodriguez y Rodriquez de Acuña

Spanish house prices are still falling, but if you try to time the bottom, you may not get what you want, warns the notoriously bearish property market expert Fernando Rodriguez y Rodriquez de Acuña.

It’s a fair point, which he illustrated with the idea of waiting to the end of the sales to get the cheapest prices an interview with Idealista News (Idealista.com is one of Spain’s biggest property portals).

“Property is a unique asset, and if you want to live in a certain area you can wait for house prices to fall further, as they will continue falling in many parts of Spain. But nobody can guarantee you that you will get that house you have set your sights on tomorrow. When you wait until the last day of the sales to buy something cheaper, you normally don’t find what you are looking for.”

The interview doesn’t address it, but it begs the question “are we at the start, middle, or end of the sales?” Who knows, but I for one think we are closer to the end than the halfway mark. Even so, it could take several years before we see a recovery.

Despite pointing out that trying to time the bottom is likely to lead to disappointment, Rodriguez de Acuña, whose consultancy business RR. Acuña & Associates has published some of the bleakest reports on the outlook for the Spanish property market, was characteristically gloomy about the outlook. This year is the worst yet, with sales and prices down, and supply up. He expects prices to continue falling in many parts of Spain.

When will the wider housing market recover? When the economy starts creating jobs, says Rodriguez de Acuña. Without jobs there is no demand for housing, whatever the price.



2 thoughts on “Disappointment likely for those who try to time the bottom of the market”

  1. Michael Brown

    It is not a fair point at all. The analogy does not work. In retail if say you want to buy a particular pair of jeans and you wait until the third sale then yes you are likely to lose out and you will have to wait another year at least for something similar and fashions may have changed! However housing it not like that. It is constantly replenished by new homes coming onto the market which are to all effects and purposes very similar to each other. If that were not the case and there was only one house for you then everyone would have to time their house purchase perfectly. Mr Rodriguez must believe in there being only one true love!
    As such timing can be important and you can be equally right on the way down as on the way up. The problem is that timing markets is very difficult. The way I think about it however is that over the lifetime of ownership of the property that a 5-10% difference in price (and potentially a bit higher) doesn’t matter so much. You were screwed if you ignored timing and bought in 2007, however 2013 vs 2014 probably won’t make that much difference.

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